A Word About Calculators from Mr. Pearson
The use of graphing calculators and other kinds of technology is prevalent in today’s K-12 mathematics classrooms, probably more so than at the collegiate level. Consideration must be given to the amount of reliance students have on this technology. Calculator skills are certainly necessary, and the calculator can be a powerful verification tool for more difficult problems. But a careful distinction is needed between using the calculator as a tool and using a calculator due to deficiency of skills. In addition, teachers often will not allow calculators on quizzes/tests/exams. State-based exams in the past have not permitted the use of calculators. However, Common Core Based Assessments will integrate calculators in selected problems. While I do allow students to use calculators to check work, students must also show proficiency in the written steps and calculations. Students should do their work, then check the work (with or without a calculator) through mathematical reasoning. Students must be able to explain what they are solving either verbally or in writing.